A Johnny/Sha Na Na fanfic by Cheryl B.
"Hey sis, you might want to check out this issue of Teen
Lying on her pink chenille-covered bed listening to the stereo, Amy looked up as her kid sister tossed a magazine at her.
It was 1979, and Amy was a pretty brunette nineteen year-old college freshman, living at home and on spring break from her classes at the local community college. While she was past the stage of being a regular reader of teen fan mags, she made sure her younger sibling, an avid reader of such publications, pointed out any articles on her favorite band, Sha Na Na.
Between their records and their weekly TV variety show, they had quickly become her favorite group, and she always felt a flutter in her heart whenever Johnny would sing. Her admiration for the handsome, talented singer was not lost on the girl hovering over her bed.
"Thanks, Lizzie. I owe you one. squirt," Amy smiled to her fourteen year-old sister, thumbing through the glossy periodocal.
"You sure do, college girl," Lizzie said with a taunting grin as she left the room, "Check out page 73. And go ahead and tear out the article, there's just an advertisement on the back, so I don't need it."
As the door closed, Amy took a long sip from her bottle of Pepsi and quickly flipped to the page. After smiling at the cute photo of the guys, her eyes grew as big as saucers when she read the headline of the story.
"I hear I'm the lucky guy that gets to take you out tomorrow night," he
said softly. "I'm honored." Reaching over to a small side table, he
picked up two long-stemmed red roses, handing one to Amy, and one to
They thanked him and then stood there watching for a few minutes as the group went back to rehearse their song before Amy was ushered away to get ready for her scene. Joanne kissed her cheek and was off to spend the afternoon with her sister Cindy. "Have fun, honey!" she said as she left. "I'll be back later."
In the costume room, Amy tried on her outfit, a wonderful, authentic- looking fifties ensemble - black poodle skirt with a soft pink sweater, pink and white saddle shoes, and a sheer black scarf tied around her neck. "Perfect!" exclaimed the costume mistress, checking the waistband of the skirt. "Now try this one on, this is for your date tomorrow."
She handed Amy a beautiful white satin dress, just the type she imagined a fifties prom queen might have worn. It had a close-fitting satin bodice with spaghetti straps and a flowing, knee-length skirt with a multi-layered crinoline slip to wear underneath to accentuate its fullness. Staring wide-eyed in the mirror, she felt like a princess.
"You look lovely, dear! Now, change back into your own clothes and head on over to get your hair and makeup done."
Amy nodded, changed and headed in the direction she was pointed to, seeing another woman smiling and waving at her outside another door. In an hour, Amy emerged, hair in a high ponytail, which was sprayed to within an inch of its life, and her face perfectly made up. She chuckled to herself at how many layers of makeup it took to achieve that "fresh-faced teenager" look for the cameras, as she headed back to wardrobe to put on her costume.
Her scene was set in the diner, to the tune of "Milkshake Mademoiselle," with Screamin' Scott on lead vocals. June Gable played Lorraine the waitress, and Pamela Myers was sitting at a table with Bowzer, Chico and Lennie, while Amy sat at another table with Johnny, sharing a milkshake with two straws. They sat together making quiet small talk for the cameras.
"So, Amy, how do you like being a TV star?" Johnny said with a grin.
She laughed. "Yeah, right... no autographs, please." Amy smiled, feeling a bit more at ease. "Seriously, though, I'm having a great time, this is so much fun!" A photographer from Teen Stars, there to cover their winner's day in the spotlight, was snapping pctures of the two of them.
"I'm glad... oops, that's my cue." With that, he arose and joined the other guys, dancing around the malt shop set and lip-synching the song. They did the scene five more times, and, happy with how it looked, the director called it a wrap, and it was time for lunch.
Her work done, Amy changed back to her street clothes and grabbed a roast beef sandwich, potato salad and an iced tea. When break was over, she got to sit on the sidelines and spend the afternoon watching the guys tape the rest of their scenes. It was fascinating to watch how a television show was put together from behind the scenes.
By the time Joanne returned to the set, the audience was starting to fill the theatre for the live taping of the concert numbers. They had front row seats. Jocko took the lead on the rousing opening number, "Tutti Frutti," and then Johnny closed with the bluesey, seductive "Since I Fell For You."
Looking like a total rock god in his gold lame and slicked-back hair, Johnny's warm, rich vocals caressed every note of the heartfelt song, He had every girl in the audience wrapped around his little finger, swooning and screaming - but he gazed right through them and fixed on Amy, and he smiled.
Her heart leaped, and she thought that Johnny had to be the most beautiful creature that God had ever made. Taking a breath, she forced her eyes away from him for a moment to look at her mother, who gave her an understanding smile, helping Amy relax just a bit.
The song ended all too quickly, and after the audience cleared out, the guys all gathered around to say goodbye to Amy and Joanne, and to autograph an 8x10 photo for Lizzie, while the magazine photographers snapped their final shots of the day.
As the two women turned to head out to their waiting limo, Johnny touched Amy's shoulder. "Hey, Amy, I was wondering if you'd like to go get a soda or something, and I could drive you back to your hotel room?" He looked at Joanne. "If it's alright with you, that is, ma'am?"
Joanne looked at the young man with a smile. "Yes, of course, that would be fine. And thank you for being such a gentleman, it was very nice of you to ask."
Returning her smile, Johnny replied, "Well, my dear Italian mother always expected her children to be polite and respectful, and God help us if we weren't, so I'm afraid it's ingrained in me for life." Joanne chuckled, and Amy knew that he'd won her over.
"My Amy here has always been a nice girl, too." Joanne said. "Always very helpful, and she never gave me a bit of trouble."
The younger woman rolled her eyes. "Gee thanks, mom. Way to make me look cool in front of the rock star!" She couldn't help but giggle. "Honest, I'm a rebel," she addressed Johnny with a grin. "Sometimes I even tear the tags off of pillows."
"Oooh, you wild woman, you!" he laughed as Joanne, grinning broadly, bid them goodnight once again before going to the limo, confident that her daughter was in good hands.
"Give me a few minutes to shower and change, and I'll be ready to go, ok?" Johnny asked.
"Sure, I'll be here," Amy replied, taking a seat and leafing through a magazine. And as promised, in less than twenty minutes, she looked up and saw him walking toward her.
Amy had only seen him decked out as the teen idol greaser before, but he looked so irresistibly real in jeans and a dark green shirt, and especially with the halo of soft, ungreased dark curls that framed his angelic face.
"Ready to go?" Johnny asked, offering an arm. She happily accepted with a nod, and they walked out to the parking lot where a classic white Cadillac was parked in Johnny's spot. He opened the passenger door for her, and closed it behind her after she slid in, then hopped in on the other side and fired up the engine.
"What a fabulous car!" Amy exclaimed.
"I know, too bad it's not mine," Johnny smiled. "It's on loan, you know, so they can get some shots of us in this classic car, keeping with the fifties theme of the contest." His eyes twinkled. "But even though our official date isn't until tomorrow night, we might as well enjoy it while we've got it, don't you think? Hate to see it go to waste....maybe I'll even buy it!"
Amy laughed, sensing in him the same unabashed male love of automobiles that her father shared. In a few minutes, they pulled into a little cafe. Finding a cozy little corner booth, they sat down and ordered a couple of Pepsis. "I understand that you're a college student," Johnny said, "What are you planning to do?"
"Well," she explained, unwrapping her straw from its paper sleeve, "I'm not exactly sure yet, but I'm a journalism major. I've always loved to write." She took a long sip of the cold, refreshing drink.
Johnny seemed genuinely interested in what she was saying, giving Amy his full attention. "That's great! Do you want to be a reporter, or maybe the editor of a newspaper?"
She chuckled. "No, nothing quite so serious, I'm afraid. As I said, I'm not quite sure exactly what I want to do, but I do know that my heart isn't in hard news. Actually, what I'd love to do is...." She stopped herself. "Never mind."
"What is it?" Johnny asked, taking her hand, the warmth of his touch causing her heart to jump just a bit.
With an awkward grin, she replied "Well, it's embarassing, but, well, ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to work at one of those teen fan magazines. I know how much pleasure they gave me when I was younger, and I'd love to write for a magazine like that someday, maybe even work my way up to editor."
"You mean like Teen Stars, the one that ran the contest? Sounds as though you still enjoy them!" he teased her.
"Hey, my little sister told me about the contest!" she giggled. "I'm a rebel, remember? Don't make me tear the tag off your pillow, mister!"
"Sounds like fun," Johnny said with a smirk, his eyes twinkling. "Does your mother know that you go around ripping the tags off of strange men's pillows?"
Amy tried hard to give him a stern look, but couldn't help bursting out laughing instead. "Stop that, my face is red enough as it is! "
He raised a brow with a smile. "Alright, alright... but seriously, I think that sounds like a wonderful career. You obviously love writing, and hey, you've got great taste in teen idols too!" Johnny looked at her with an adorably cocky grin.
"Yeah," she retorted with an equally mischievous look on her face, "That Leif Garrett is a total dreamboat."
Johnny tossed his wadded-up straw wrapper at her. "Boy, you sure do know how to hurt a guy's fragile ego."
They laughed and chatted a while longer before heading back out to drive her to the hotel. Much to Amy's delight, they took the long way, cruising around with the top down, listening to an oldies station on the radio.
When they arrived, he walked her up to her room, making sure she had her key. "I'll pick you up tomorrow night at 6, alright, Amy?"
"Yes, thank you. I'm looking forward to it."
He looked into her eyes and hesitated shyly before leaning in to touch
his lips to hers for one brief moment. Amy finally caught her breath
and ran a hand through his soft curls, smiling softly at him. She
waved to him as he walked to the elevator, then she turned the key and
Sleep was fitful at best. The next day, she and Joanne had a quick continental breakfast and then visited her Aunt Cindy, having a late lunch with her before returning to the hotel to prepare for the big night.
The studio courier had delivered the white prom dress she'd tried on yesterday while they were gone, and the maid left it on the bed. Amy took a long bubble bath, brushed and pinned her hair into a soft upsweep, and applied llght, flattering makeup and a dab of floral perfume before donning her outfit. Her dark, shining hair was a perfect compliment to the white dress.
"Oh, you look wonderful, sweetheart!" Joanne beamed. "I'm sure you're going to have such fun tonight."
Amy hugged her. "Thanks mom, I know I will. Johnny's just so.... well, he's very sweet and funny and charming."
"He seems like a very nice young man, very polite." she agreed. "Pretty rare for a big rock star these days, I'd imagine. His mother must be very proud of the gentleman he turned out to be."
Amy nodded and took a last look in the mirror, when there was a knock at the door. Johnny stood there in the doorway, utterly handsome in a white jacket, black pants, pink shirt, black bow tie and a pink carnation in his lapel, his hair slicked back in familiar fashion - looking every inch the dreamy fifties prom date. "Good evening, ladies!" he greeted them with a warm smile.
Entering the room, he handed Joanne a small, beautifully wrapped box of fine chocolates. "For the lovely lady who raised such a fine daughter." And then he presented Amy with a beautiful corsage - a perfect pale pink rosebud surrounded by baby's breath.
"May I?" he asked. Amy nodded and thanked him as Johnny gingerly pinned it to the bodice of her dress. "You look beautiful," he said, kissing her cheek as he admired his lovely date.
"So do you," she smiled, embracing her mother before they took off. Johnny and Amy soon pulled up in front of a local rock 'n roll diner, complete with waitresses on roller skates, pink and turquoise tile floors, and a jukebox filled with every popular oldies tune you could think of.
Spying the booth that was roped off for them, one with the best backdrop for taking photos, Johnny and Amy took a seat across from each other. Before they could even look at the menu, the waitress brought over a large strawberry milkshake, embellished with a large mound of whipped cream, a bright red cherry, and of course, the requisite two straws.
Taking their cue, Johnny and Amy leaned in across the black and white formica table, nearly cheek to cheek, and took a simultaneous sip, looking at the cameraman and smiling. After a few shots, they were free to chat and enjoy their date in peace for a few minutes. When the waitress returned, they decided on cheeseburgers, fries and cherry cokes.
Before the food arrived, Johnny excused himself and went to the jukebox to cue up a few songs, and was greeted by a small group of excited young female fans standing there, hoping for an autograph. He graciously accommodated their request, and returned to the table, where their meal had just been brought out.
The food was hot and delicious, and they relished every bite as they enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere. The photographer snapped a few more shots of them enjoying their burgers as the jukebox played on.
Drinking down the last of their sodas, they arose and posed for a photo with some of the onlookers, and after Johnny gave out a few more autographs, they headed out to the car for a couple more photos before departing for the dance.
Johnny took her hand as they walked inside a small local dance hall, which had been transformed into a fifties prom setting, complete with streamers and balloons and a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. shimmering across the floor.
Johnny eyes grew wide as he heard the band playing the familiar opening
riff of At The Hop. "C'mon, I love this song!" he smiled
excitedly as he pulled her to the dance floor, not even noticing any
longer the photographer who followed them everywhere. The dance skills
that he showed off on the TV show, and the joy he had in using them,
were apparent as they bopped and twisted and jitterbugged to several
uptempo numbers. He was an amazing dancer, and it was great fun to
watch him in action up close. Amy smiled just a bit to see him checking
out her moves as well.
The lights dimmed, and the band began to play Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. With a tender smile, Johnny took her in his arms, the joyous sparkle in his eyes having turned into an intense and unrelenting gaze as he and Amy danced slowly together, the photographer capturing the sweet moment on film.
"I almost wish it was you up there singing this song," Amy breathed. "But on second thought, I think I'd rather have you right here."
Johnny smiled back softly. "And I can't think of anyplace else I'd rather be." He pulled her closer and they continued to dance, not taking their eyes off of each other.
A couple of hours later, having only paused a couple of times for a cool drink of punch, Johnny squeezed her hand. "Ready to get out of here?"
"Sure," Amy said. He looked around, and took her hand, leading her out a side exit door and out to the car before anyone noticed they were gone.
"Where are we going?" she asked.
Johnny smiled. "You'll see." Before long, they pulled into a drive- in movie theatre. Findng a good spot, he parked and switched off the engine, looking over at Amy, who smiled with approval.
"Very fifties," she smiled.
He grinned mischievously. "Yeah, anything to maintain the theme of our date."
"Uh huh..." she joked.
As Amy stared at the screen, she hoped that Johnny couldn't hear her racing heartbeat pounding in her chest. She was at the drive-in with the sweetest, cutest guy on the planet, and she could barely breathe.
Johnny touched her cheek and smiled softly when she turned toward him. "Look at you, way over there. Why don't you scoot over a little closer? I've got a shoulder right here with your name on it..." He grinned as she slid over and rested her head on his shoulder, then wrapped his arm snug and warm around her.
Amy closed her eyes, breathlessly savoring the indescribable feeling of
his strong arm around her. After a few moments, she smiled at him and
turned to watch the coming attractions, still in his embrace.
"Can I get you some popcorn or something?" he asked when the movie was about to start.
"No, thank you, I'm fine," she replied softly, not daring to look at him again for fear she would never be able to look away.
"Hey," Johnny whispered softly.
"What?" she replied, her eyes still on the screen.
He smiled sweetly. "Come here..." She turned to look at him. As she feared, she was a total goner when his dark, seductive eyes fixed upon hers. Johnny tilted her face up with one gentle finger and touched his lips to hers, melting into a deep, beautiful kiss that left Amy wanting never to awaken from the dream she was surely having.
The world stopped, and Amy closed her eyes, allowing herself to drown in his kiss for one glorious, bittersweet moment before she forced herself to gently back away.
"Johnny," she whispered, "please, I..."
A disappointed look crossed his face. "Oh - I'm sorry, Amy."
She looked at him. "Oh no, Johnny, please don't be sorry." Amy looked away, slightly embarassed. "It was very nice, actually."
Puzzled, Johnny took her hand. "Then what's wrong?" He looked at her with gentle concern.
Amy exhaled and looked at him. "This night, this whole evening, has been magic, and I'll never forget it as long as I live. It was like the perfect, romantic fifties prom night every girl dreams of. But..." she paused. "But I know it's not real."
He started to say something, but let her continue.
"Johnny, I'd love nothing more than to let you kiss me like you just did, all night long. But I just can't do that for some silly contest. And you shouldn't have to, either." She sighed and brushed aside a tear. "The malt shop and the dance, and our goodnight kiss last night, were one thing, but for me, a *real* kiss has to mean something. And I know that I'm just another fan, one of about a million other girls who would love to be in my shoes tonight, and this date is the prize in a contest, not something real between two people." Amy folded hands in her lap and looked down. "I know I sound like an idiot, and I'm so sorry, Johnny."
Johnny touched her dark hair. "Amy, you don't sound like an idiot, not at all. And I agree with everything you've just said, except for the part about your being just another fan." His gaze turned tender as he tried to gently reassure her. "Because you're much more to me than that, and I didn't bring you here as part of the contest."
"You didn't?" she asked, wanting so desperately to believe him, but not quite daring to.
"No, baby, I didn't," he smiled. "The contest date ended when we left the dance." Johnny gestured out the window. "Do you see any photographers, any reporters here?" She shook her head. "Amy, bringing you here was my idea, and so was kissing you. It was very real to me."
She looked into his eyes and saw the sincerity of his words. "It was?"
"Very, very real, yes," he replied. "Amy, you are a sweet, smart, beautiful girl who makes me laugh. And I haven't enjoyed anyone's company so much in a very long time. But that just leaves one question."
"How do you feel about me?"
Amy smiled softly and leaned in to kiss him. She closed her eyes as she felt him deepening their kiss and pulling her closer. As her arms wrapped around his neck, she sighed blissfully and whispered his name.
As they spent the evening in each other's arms, catching snippets of the movie between sweet kisses, they both knew that something very special was happening between them. But as the movie ended and the lights came on, flooding the parking lot with blinding reality, they looked at each other and realized just how hard it was going to be.
"Oh Johnny, what are we going to do?" she asked. "I want to give us a chance, because you are the most wonderful man I've ever met, and you treat me like a queen. But you've got your career to think about, and I don't want to be in the way."
"You're not in the way," he assured her with a smile, "because I want you here. Right here, with me." He kissed her again before starting the car and exiting the drive-in, driving her back to the hotel as they continued their conversation. Driving along, they talked it over, and suddenly, Johnny's eyes lit up. He offered his idea for a solution, and Amy smiled.
"Are you sure you want me living here in L.A., so close to you?" she joked. "Won't your groupies get jealous?"
Johnny laughed. "I guess they'll just have to get over it, won't they?" He kissed her cheek. "Do you think your mother will be okay with you moving here, staying with your aunt, transferring to UCLA to finish your classes, and maybe getting an internship at a magazine?"
"Yes," Amy said. "She knows me well enough to know that if I go running off to L.A. to follow a rock star, that he's got to be someone awfully special, and not some fly-by-night Casanova." She squeezed his hand. "Besides, she likes you, and she knows you're an honorable man."
He grinned. "Darn, there goes my reputation with the chicks!"
"Well," Amy replied, giggling, "that's one way to discourage the groupies."
"And when you come along on tour with us on your summer break, you can threaten to rip the tags off of their pillows when they get too close to me." He laughed. "Besides, who needs groupies," he continued with a soft smile, "when I've got the most beautiful girl right here by my side?"
Slipping his arm around her, her head nestled on his shoulder, Johnny smiled as they drove on, the cool breeze ruffling their hair and the moon sparkling in the midnight sky above the Hollywood hills, the promise of love and an unknown but exciting future in the air.
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